President Omar Al Bashir has sent a delegation to Darfur to negotiate with Musa Hilal, the leader of government-armed Arab militias (Janjaweed) attacking villages under control of the State. The recent attack by Hilal’s militiamen on Saraf Omra has cost the lives of nearly 100 government officers and soldiers. Thousands of civilians were displaced.
Al Bashir has sent second Vice-President Dr Abdel Rahman Hassabo, the former minister of Foreign Affairs, Mustafa Osman Ismail, and the Darfur politician Ali Dosa to meet Hilal. He and the government delegation have not agreed yet where they will meet: it could be either in Nyala, El Geneina or Kabkabiya, the stronghold of Hilal.
The delegation was ordered to meet Hilal after the Governor of North Darfur, Osman Mohamed Yusif Kibir, escaped an assassination attempt in Kuma, 80 kilometers north of El Fasher.
After a “semi-secret” visit to Mellit on Saturday, unknown gunmen opened fire at the governor and other members of his delegation. Kibir’s driver was killed, as well as one of the police guards. Saraf Omra was attacked by Musa Hilal on 7 and 8 March.
Photo: A convoy of Musa Hilal’s militiamen in Saraf Omra (elrakoba.net)
North Darfur Governor survives assassination attempt (16 March 2014)
Musa Hilal warns North Darfur citizens of ‘operations’ (2 March 2014)